Economy & Budget

McCainWorld: Return to Good and Evil

John McCain rose up in high dudgeon the other day to essentially blame Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman and former congressman Chris Cox for the financial meltdown in which the nation finds itself, in spite of the fact that the SEC — whether it might have done more or not — could neither have prevented what has led us to our current predicament nor done much about it once we got here.

Many were taken aback by McCain’s target and the personal vehemence of the attack. Cox should be fired, McCain roared, because he’s “betrayed the public trust.” George Will has pointed out, however, that this is vintage McCain, who sees the world around him in rather simple moral blacks and whites. In McCainWorld there are good guys (who might best be described as men and women who agree with him) and there are bad guys (who disagree with him for reasons that can only be described as “evil”). There seem to be very few honest disagreements in McCainWorld, because anyone of good heart would, of course, agree with the man.

Financial Crisis: Confused and Angry McCain Lashes Out

First McCain takes both sides on bailouts. Then McCain says the fundamentals of the economy are sound, being completely out of touch. Then McCain lashes out about whom he will fire. Then McCain makes personal attacks on Barack Obama.

McCain's anger, ill temper, and penchant for personal attacks leads even conservative columnist George Will to criticize McCain for what Will (correctly) calls "slander" and to say what many Republican senators have long said, questioning whether McCain's temperament would be dangerous in the presidency.

Some significant bailout will be needed because of the economic failures of Bush, McCain and Republicans in Congress who now seek almost total economic power to reward their catastrophic economic failures. Yet as in the 2002 Iraq war resolution, they use fear to seek power. As in the Patriot Act, they seek panic to attack checks and balances. The trademark of Republican rule is to try to use enormous failure to seek enormous powers and to use fear and panic as weapons for this power.

The Surgeon

Think of the current U.S. economy as having cardiac arrest.

The doctor (Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson) wants to go into the operating room immediately.

But the Congress wants to take its sweet time, looking at all the options.

Some members agree that there is a problem, but think they have a better solution.

What the patient needs, along with bypass surgery, is more pork.

Other members complain about the cost. How much will this surgery run us?

No Blank Check for Wall Street

Once again, Congress is being forced to walk the plank. George Bush is demanding a blank check. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is demanding a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. And, they say, Democrats in Congress must deliver both by Friday, Sept. 26 — or else.

Baloney! Democrats should respond by simply saying: No, no, no! They gave Bush a blank check after Sept. 11, 2001, in the Patriot Act. They gave him another blank check for the war in Iraq. They should not betray American taxpayers by giving him another one now, for Wall Street.

Democrats should tell the president and Paulson: No Blank Check and no Bailout. Period. We will not even consider voting for it unless ... unless there’s some real relief included for working Americans and unless there are some tough new rules and regulations for Wall Street.

America Must Admit Recession

Armstrong Williams says America needs to recognize it is in an economic recession and Americans should exercise personal accountability.


The Root Cause of Your Faltering Economy

The current housing crisis is rooted in the conscious decision by financial institutions to relax lending standards. As a direct result, consumers who could not otherwise afford a home, or as costly a home, could put themselves in a position to become financially overextended.

When I bought my first home in 1987, I had to make a down payment of 20 percent of the cost of the house and my annual income had to be at least four times my annual housing costs (mortgage, taxes and insurance). Today, the standard is a 5 percent down payment (or in some cases no down payment) and in some cases no income verification, let alone minimum income to cover housing costs.

Keep It Clean

The Congress is getting their greasy hands on the Treasury secretary’s pristine plan to bail us out of the biggest financial crisis to hit this country in eight decades.

I have a simple message for them: Keep it clean.

Don’t add stuff on there that should be fought at a later date.

I don’t like when CEOs are paid millions of dollars to fail. But that shouldn’t be on here. Keep it clean.

I too think that Main Street should get some economic relief. But not on this bill. Not now. Keep it clean.

The Great American Bailout of Wall Street

It seems that we all can take a collective sigh of relief now that the U.S. government is stepping in to bail out Wall Street from its corrupt schemes over the past decade.

But be sure that the government does not want to play this game. This stunning move by the leaders of our country was the response to executives on Wall Street warning of a complete financial collapse that could have made the events in the 1920s seem tame.

I see that the wizards of Wall Street are held to the same standards as weathermen — they can be wrong, very wrong, but still get paid for a job poorly done. The difference is weathermen can do nothing about Mother Nature and are prisoners of her whims. By contrast, Wall Street executives are rewarded to orchestrate ways to make millions — and even billions — of dollars for themselves, put our financial system at risk, and then leave carnage behind.

It’s McCain’s Keating Five, All Over Again

Two months from now, we will look back and assert that the week of Sept. 15 was the week John McCain lost the presidential election of 2008.

It’s not the first time McCain’s been caught at a financial crime scene. Remember his first appearance on national radar? When the dust cleared from the 1980s S&L failure, there stood so-called reformer John McCain: one of five senators investigated for pressuring the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to drop its investigation of Lincoln Savings and Loan owner Charles Keating.

As the junior senator from Arizona, McCain had the closest ties to Keating. He received $112,000 in campaign contributions from Keating and associates. And McCain co-sponsored legislation relaxing regulations on savings and loans and allowing them to gamble investor funds on certain highly risky financial ventures. Sound familiar?

Republican Financial Katrina: Banks, Bankrupts and Bailouts

Now we see the result of John McCain's Republican economic policies for three decades in the Senate, where he proudly, loudly and aggressively proclaimed his contempt for government protecting average Americans. Now, with Republican government on the brink of a trillion dollars of deficits and bailouts, which is socialism for the rich and laissez-unfair Darwinism that punishes the middle and the poor, we know this: McCain can run, McCain can deceive, McCain can pretend, but McCain can't hide.

Barack Obama is back in the lead. The bounce is gone. The truth will out. The people who pay the price of economic Republicanism will not be fooled by a candidate who runs on the platform of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, pit bulls with lipstick and bearing false witness against Obama. The Republicans, until 2006, were brilliant at this: They could persuade working-class voters to vote for Republicans against their economic interests, like the chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. No more.